I’m not a pilot, but have trouble understanding why someone with the qualifications to fly for Air Canada could have made this mistake. Don’t commercial pilots receive any kind of “situational awareness” training for bright astronomical objects? What about the man’s own years of experience? Yes, Venus is bright right now, but surely he has seen planets before. Didn’t he notice Venus pretty much in the same patch of sky last week or last month? It doesn’t move *that* fast.
If pilots are trained never to look at anything but their own instruments, why give them windows in the first place?
Pilots are trained about a trick: if an object is moving a bit left, right, up, or down in their field of vision, they are safe. If an object hangs in the same spot in their field of vision they are on a direct collision course and must act! The pilot's actions were reasonable under the circumstances. If it really was an airplane he had a fraction of a second to react, not time to ponder what it might be.
This field of vision trick works in many circumstances. When landing, the spot lined up on the windshield that is neither rising or falling is the spot the aircraft will touch down. If the top of a mountain range is slowly moving down it means the airplane will clear it. A sailor can also tell if two boats are on a collision course by this same field of vision effect.